Posted on: 11 November 2019
Adopting new technologies into your business
Over the last decade, advances in technology, especially in computing, mean that there are many new technologies that are an asset to the construction industry and can allow you to push the limits of your work.
Take a look at some of the recent technological advancements that are making waves in the construction industry.
New technologies that can help your projects
Whilst 3D printing has been around for years, the technology has only really started to become mainstream in recent years as it has become more commercially affordable.
3D printers have been used to create a variety of small objects in the past, such as toys, decorations or models. 3D printing is being used in the medical field to create casts and prosthetic limbs, but now 3D printing is making huge waves in the construction field.
A family in Nantes, France, became the first family to move into a 3D printed house in July 2018, which only took 54 hours to build and cost 20% less than a house of the same design not made with a 3D printer.
The printer also allowed the architects to be more creative with the design of the house, as there are fewer restrictions on the materials that are used to build the house.
NASA has also endorsed plans for 3D printed houses on Mars, perhaps a sign that 3D printing could well be the big technology of the future.
Again, a concept that has been around for as far back as 1849, when unmanned aerial vehicles were used by the Austrian military for bombing runs, but which has only become mainstream in recent years for non-military uses, whether this is recreational or commercial.
The way drones are being used commercially has changed in recent years, whether this is Amazon’s Prime Air service or photographers taking stunning images of hard to reach areas. Drones have also been used to capture images of dangerous areas, such as the exclusion zone at Chernobyl.
Drones have been increasingly used in the construction industry to map out sites, particularly hazardous areas or areas difficult for people to reach. These drones will also take images of sites that can be used to create 3D renders with a higher degree of accuracy.
Why wait to see what your construction project will look like when it is finished when you can use virtual reality (VR) to see what it will look like before construction has even begun.
3D modelling was huge in the construction industry, with project managers being able to visualise their creation, but now imagine being able to explore your 3D model to do a virtual walkthrough to perform vital checks to make sure that everything looks as it should. This is what VR technology can do for you and your business.
VR files can also be shared and edited between users meaning that working collaboratively can be seamless and can be done on opposite sides of the world.
Similar to VR augmented reality (AR) allows users to see their digital creation but against the backdrop of a real-world environment. The most popular example of AR in recent years will be the Pokémon Go mobile game, which utilised the camera on a smartphone to have the real-world background with a computer-generated Pokémon waiting on the screen.
AR is particularly useful for businesses who may want to visualise their 3D modelling work in the real world. Another example of using AR in construction could be to visualise where piping could go in a building without having to tear any walls down.
A famous case of using AR in construction occurred in 2011, following the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. The University of Canterbury created and released the CityViewAR app which allowed city planners to rebuild based on previous designs. Although the app is now no longer available, there are plenty of AR programmes that will allow you to visualise your plans.
Normally a phrase associated with sci-fi films and the downfall of humanity, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is something that has been around for decades. Chess games on early computers were some of the first cases of AI, but now we live in a society where AI is everywhere.
AI is used these days in processes that rely on data analysis. For example, Siri and Alexa are both AI that learns from the questions that you ask and gives the most appropriate response. Tesla also uses AI in their cars with the self-driving mode, which reads the road and drives itself according to the rules it knows. Netflix also has an AI algorithm which analyses the films or TV shows that you have been interested in to recommend other things to watch. Facebook does this in a similar way, by analysing which content you have interacted with and recommending similar pieces of content.
AI can be used in the construction industry with the creation of materials and equipment in production lines; it can plan out projects and can help with the design.
The big AI development that could come in the future is the creation of robotic systems that could perform the jobs that are considered more dangerous to human workers.
Construction insurance with Premierline
New technologies are opening up exciting opportunities in the construction industry, but with unexplored technology comes new dangers. To be protected against these risks, you will need a robust insurance policy that covers you should the worst happen.
This is where Premierline comes in. As a business insurance broker, we can assess your business’ needs and will source competitive business insurance quotes from some of the UK’s most well-known insurance companies. Whether you require commercial & industrial insurance, contractor insurance or contractors all risks insurance, get in touch with Premierline to speak to an insurance professional.
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Business Guidance24 September 2019
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